Gypsies and Pixie Dust

Gypsies and Pixie Dust

I exist therefore I am, mistakes and imperfections one and all. I don’t want to be considered an artist. I want to be thought of as a student of art. I want to ingest the human condition, live and breathe it. I want to eradicate all traces of ego and relate.

I want to roam the globe and hear the stories, while not missing out on the neighborhood tales right next door. I am a traveler and connoisseur of fortune and mishap. I am a believer in fate and love and a hopeless romantic at heart. I have fallen in love many times over; sometimes reciprocated while others not. I am a gypsy leaping joyously headfirst into the new and unknown forever anxious for a fresh start.

So much of our lives are spent in the world of what if, instead of the place that is right now. I am present, I am now and I am looking up towards the sky and watching as the pixie dust falls. For today I will repeat that statement over and over, every time my mind starts to wander to a different road. I am present, I am now and I am looking up to the sky. Watch for it, you might miss it if you’re not looking up towards the heavens as the pixie dust falls.

In Her Dreams

Snow falls on the grass on this almost March day, trees already in prepubescent bloom.

What the fuck is happening? Global warming has her own plans, shaking things up on this insignificant, tiniest piece of the puzzle, planet earth. She is happy for the ugly, backward mess.

She won’t walk today, but will curl up in silence and self-protection closing her eyes instead; drifting off and dreaming about the walkabout will suffice.

In her dreams she sees an altogether different version of herself; a younger, happier, slender, soft edged person with a more vibrant future mapped out. She still dreams in Kodachrome where puppies, beach homes and neat, parasol living abounds. Where dazzling, white bright stars full of possibility coat the yellow sunbeams from her eyes. She has yet to be poisoned, injected and force-fed the grays and ugly realities.

This girl has a shot. A real, do-over shot at happy. As long as the imagination has not been stolen, she has the dream to endure.

She’s survived the brutal, harsh days when something bigger than fear, self-loathing and death took hold. She lived the limitations with a certain air of grace, donning the best, quiet mask she could. As long as there is hope, that God will not abandon her in these worst times she continues, liquid solid. She takes the uneven, shallow breath, however difficult embracing the day to get it right, finding an air that is easier and smoothed out.

The birds forgive her simple, humane existence. They know she is following the orders of the house, a guest in their home. This four and a half billion year old earth which carries her shaded past and unique, ghost filled history.

She is simply at the mercy of time, enduring with whatever shred of dignity she can muster.

To never forget the page. The page carries her when she cannot stand, crouched in fetal position on the bathroom floor. The page dreams the big dreams when she sees nothing through misty eyes. The page promises hope when she has exhausted all roads, and left dreaming behind. The page holds her hand guiding her gently towards the light, where the words are the wee bit brighter. Dripping icicles, the snow has lost interest in this corner of the land and gone off to find glaciers and ice hills, more appropriate temperatures to visit.

She wraps the afghan throw tight around her shoulders, rocking back and forth while humming her favorite tune hopeful to revisit the dawn of a new tomorrow.

-excerpt from The Red Bench

Sunflowers and Sticky Tape (some years ago)

We built a house out of a dream

10 minutes turned into a life of sunflowers

and wooden porches

and Etta James

and Ella Fitzgerald

and thrift stores with old record players

and bread makers

and a light bulb on a string over the kitchen sink

and a couple in Sante Fe

and their gallery

and an old book of pictures of Texas from 1961 or was it 1959?

and a white Cadillac convertible with burgundy leather interior torn from age

and a steering wheel with sticky tape

and a motel with purple lights

and cactus in the desert

and a white bathing suit

and a black and white TV

and the same movie playing over and over

and Tequila with a worm

and the sunrise on the dunes in the desert

and the dark and the yellow line in the road

and the fork up ahead

and it’s all in my mind

and my heart

and I did care

It was a lovely dream

I saw you today and paused short of breath

We had drifted away and apart

I wish you all your dreams of wooden houses

and dunes

and beaches

and bandanas

and cutoffs

and Hanes v neck t-shirts

and flip flops

and all

Take care and I do care

It was real for me

For a moment

and it was so nice to dream

 

– Jacqueline Cioffa

 

On my column, “Bleeding Ink,” Courtesy of Feminine Collective

The Write Therapy

They ask too much, expect more from me. To sit in a room with gut wrenching, broken, beaten down souls. There is too much pain, upon the blood, stained walls. I cannot, I will not. I refuse to spill my intimate, tragic, sad story. This fight is personal, entirely my own. Between God and me, she is not the enemy. I wonder, I do. I can’t help but be curious, where did the cracks begin? The precise second the dam opened, were the leaks there all along?

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The words don’t betray me, they remain strong. I trust the visions, the intangible guide. As I work Georgia Pine., the sequel to The Vast Landscape, I am back there. The oh, so familiar place, I have not known. I have visited and revisited the soulful jungle, inside the hidden crevices of the mind. “Sweat trickling down her face. She envisions swampland, mossy bayou, a green so vibrant she cannot describe the magnificent beauty. Massive Cypress’, musk smell, painstakingly slow-moving, gator filled muddy waters.” 

I am reminded I have dreamt Louisiana before, bluegrass bayou. Through the eyes and mouth of a wild, reckless, blond angel, with the devil tattoo on her bicep. I loved her tales, I will visit sometime. And dance the day into night overtaken, losing track of space, obligation and time.

I choose the write therapy, for today that is what I decide. The stories drift in and out of memory, always returning in due time. The words sacred, a safe place to call mine.

For Kathleen, Reckless Beauty  -Milan ’95

Walking the streets

Wandering with no direction

Dancing in my negligee

The heat of the pavement tells

My tongue

Tastes the warm rain possibility

New Orleans, swamp and rust hinges

The blues brings me up

I dreamt of you, again

Riding your bike and laughing

You were young, glorious and free

Sitting a pinch above my right shoulder

I reach out my arms

Hug the damp air

Take a breath

Inhaling remnants

Smelling your skin

It’s fine

Everything will be

If I can only, get back

Thoughts of you, dead brother of mine

Spirits a’ plenty in the bayou

I’ll be back home, soon

In summertime

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